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Fri, 20 Nov


Lockdown Cabaret Online Festival

Lockdown Cabaret has a big announcement to make…. The Lockdown Cabaret Oriental Dance Festival is coming to a screen near you!

Registration is Closed
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Lockdown Cabaret Online Festival
Lockdown Cabaret Online Festival

Time & Location

20 Nov 2020, 9:00 pm – 22 Nov 2020, 9:00 pm

About the Event

Out of consideration of the evolving (and unpredictable) public health crisis the Lockdown Cabaret festival is going to be online and we have a stellar line up planned faeturing Laila (VIC), Johara (NSW), Mirian (NZ), Andrea (NSW), Keti (WA), Ali (NSW), Kadia (SA) and Margaret (QLD).

When: Opening Show - Friday 20th November 7-9pm AEDT Workshops - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November 9-6.15pm AEDT

Where: Zoom (Links to the show and workshops will be sent out 24 hours before the event to the email you bought tickets with)

Ticketing: TryBooking - $35 per workshop or $250 for a weekend pass. Workshops will be online via zoom and recordings will be available as an unlisted video on YouTube for 2 weeks (link sent after workshop).

Scholarship program: Six all-inclusive festival packages funded by the generous donors to the Lockdown Cabaret Fund are available for dancers who have been impacted by the bushfire and/or COVID-19 crisis. Details about the scholarship can be found at the link below, and applications are emailed to

Saturday Disco baladi: Combinations inspired by the Second Golden Era of belly dance with Laila (VIC) 9-11am, Saturday 21st November 2020 The time period spanning form the 60's to the 80's could be described as the second Golden Era of Belly dance in Cairo. New money from oil rich gulf states and explosion of nightclubs caused Raqs Sharqi to enter into another phase of evolution. Through a series of inspired movement combinations and using music unique to this era, we will explore the essence of influential dancers, paying homage to their own unique styles and signature moves. LEVEL: Intermediate to advanced About Laila Characterised by her joyous improvisation and sensitive interpretation of the music, Laila brings her own distinctive feeling and inner authenticity to the dance. A second-generation dancer Laila has been dancing since day one. Growing up learning and performing alongside her mother has translated to the unique and distinctive dancer that she is today. Her instinctive pull to Raqs Sharqi has also been influenced by her father’s family from Halab/Aleppo, old Egyptian Raqs Sharqi on VHS, and an exposure to the Sydney Belly Dance community of the 90’s. Today Laila continues to learn and grow as both performer and teacher of the dance. Arabic rhythms and dance with zills (finger cymbals) with the lovely Ali (NSW) 11.15-1.15pm – Saturday 21st November 2020 In this zill workshop we will learn the various tones of the finger cymbals, and how to play our favourite Arabic rhythms for bellydance. We will also explore music interpretation, and the techniques for choosing what to play for various songs, melodies and dance.

LEVEL: Zill Experience- Beginner to Intermediate. Bellydance Experience- Beyond Beginner to Advanced About Ali Ali Higson runs the long established Amera's Palace Bellydance School and Boutique, in Marrickville, Sydney, where she also teaches bellydance, and Arabic percussion. Ali is a multi skilled performer, her entertainment career spanning 30 years, and she has travelled the world presenting her music, dance and circus cabaret shows. As a zill and bellydance teacher Ali has a fun and dynamic teaching style. With decades of performance experience behind her, and 20 years of playing Arabic percussion, she has oodles of knowledge to share. Her passion is rhythm interpretation for the bellydancer, and she loves supporting dancers to create their own percussion with confidence and joy.

Sensual and fluid belly dance- Egyptian style! With Keti (WA) 2-4pm, Saturday 21st November 2020 Join Keti for a bellydance class based on deep somatic awareness (internal sensing of movement and music) to learn some core secrets of Egyptian style dance moves, including weight sensing for fluid figure 8’s, snake arms, undulations, transitions. Enjoy how the moves come together seamlessly into a smooth, fluid piece pf live Egyptian taqsim music. We work in layers so it is suitable for everyone! LEVEL: All levels welcome About Keti Keti’s somatic, musical approach to bellydancing is taught in 40 countries worldwide with her A-Z Bellydance online programs, which feature 100% live Egyptian music. She has 30 years experience in Egyptian style bellydance (raqs sharqi, stage styles & folkloric) having started her performance career at the Cairo Ramses Hilton in Cairo at the age of 23, and lived in Egypt for 20 years where she ran the Sphinx Festival annually - a week-long cultural arts event featuring folkloric pioneers Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy, Zaar musicians of Makan, Nesrin Bahaa of the new Reda Troupe, Shahira Mehrez and many more respected Egyptian artists and dancers, plus live music throughout. In Australia, she founded the WAMED festival and ran it for many years, as well as founding the Bellydance Oasis magazine. See more at

Creative combinations with Mirian (NZ) 4.15-6.15 – Saturday 21st November 2020 Combinations are great allies when it comes to improvising and choreography building. Learn a series of creative combinations that can be adapted to different styles and moods. The class will start with a technique section focusing on movement details, transitions and fluidity. Mirian will give students her personal tips on how to improve different aspects of performance such as expression, connection, authenticity and audience engagement. One of the combinations will include veil work, so please have a veil nearby when attending this workshop. LEVEL: Intermediate About Mirian Dedicated to learning, teaching and performing oriental Egyptian and folkloric dances for the past 21 years, Mirian started her dance career in her home country Brazil, at Rakaça Temple of Dance school. Living in the US at the age of 18, she performed regularly in events and Middle Eastern restaurants. Mirian moved to New Zealand in 2014, where her passion for this dance form led her to start her own dance school in the capital, Wellington. Egypt has been a source of inspiration for her studies for many years, as well as a recent fascination with Indian art forms.

Sunday A brief history of Shamadan - Egyptian candelabra dance with Johara (NSW) 9-11am – Sunday 22nd November 2020 Raqs el-Shamadan is the candelabra balancing dance thought to have originated with the Awalim (professional female entertainers of Egypt) in the late 1800’s. Since its creation, Raqs el-Shamadan has transitioned from market places and fairs, weddings and celebrations into nightclubs, films and onto the stage.   A brief exploration of the history and evolution of Shamadan in Egyptian Dance, this workshop is part lecture, with illustrations and video clips, and part dance technique.   With an emphasis on Awalim and Golden Era styling, learn movements and combinations typically associated with Raqs el-Shamadan, balance tips and even some floorwork.   (Note – dance techniques in this workshop can be performed both with and without a Shamadan) Shamadan or candelabra is not required for the workshop - but feel free to bring one if you have it! Otherwise I’d suggest an object to balance (flat weight disk/book/wide-based bottle/tray/bag of rice), knee pads (for floor work – optional) LEVEL: Beyond beginner to advanced About Johara Johara is an established performer and teacher based in Sydney. She has a wealth of knowledge having studied with many Australian and international teachers. Johara has developed into a passionate dancer and has a unique style that draws from her diverse knowledge of Folkloric genres to Classical and Modern Egyptian cabaret. She integrates fluid footwork, graceful turns and spins with dynamic Egyptian hip and belly movements. She is a longstanding member of Jrisi's Hathor Dance Troupe and a founding member of Farrah, Sydney's one and only Egyptian Folkloric Dance troupe. Over the years she has been privileged to perform with these troupes at some of Australia's largest bellydance events. In 2014 she auditioned and was selected to perform as part of the internationally renowned Bellydance Evolution’s “Dark Side of the Crown” theatre show (Sydney tour) and in 2017 was also selected to dance in Kaeshi Chai’s Journey Along the Silk Road theatre show. A regular favourite at WAMED Festival (Perth), Newcastle Festival and Bahar Bayram Camp (Qld), Johara was thrilled to be invited to teach at the Fire in The Belly Festival in Albury (2015), Tasmanian Middle Eastern Dance Festival (2016), Wollongong Festival (2017) and for the past 2 years in Helsinki, Finland. She teaches online technique classes with Inspire Bellydance. Students enjoy her detailed knowledge, technical skill and precision, as well as her deep understanding of body mechanics. Her resume and her dancing are impressive and varied, which reflects her passion and love for the dance.

Dabke for bellydancers with Andrea (NSW) 11.15-1.15, Sunday 22nd November 2020 Dabke night! Now you don't have to step aside every time people dabke around you! Join us for a fun workshop where you are not only going to learn the basis of dabke technique and combinations but also you are going to be able to incorporate it to your Belly dancing! Dabke is such a fun, energetic and inclusive folkloric dance performed in weddings and celebrations in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Iraq! Yalla, Let's dabke! (No previous dabke experience required but at least beyond beginners level in bellydance) About Andrea Hailing from Mexico, Andrea is a popular dancer on the Sydney circuit who has particular expertise in Lebanese and Iraqi stylings. It wasn’t until Andrea turned 19 years old when she had her first Belly Dance lesson in her home country, where there’s a small Lebanese community, giving her the opportunity to learn from a popular Lebanese musician. Coming to Sydney helped her to complete her dance journey, she participated in the international dance theatre project “Journey along the Silk Road” in 2016 and numerous multicultural events sharing her passion for dance. Dancing mostly for the Lebanese community, Andrea developed the availability of including dabke into her dance. She’s also been one of the instructors at Inspire Bellydance for 4 years now.

Introduction to Uygher folkloric dance with Kadia (SA) 2-4pm, Sunday 22nd November 2020 This workshop will introduce the Uyghur ethnic group in China and their beautiful dance. The Uyghur people are hardworking, smart, simple-hearted and versatile ethnic group, especially excellent in dancing and singing. The Uyghers have unique musical & dancing arts such as the 12 Muqam which is classified by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It helped promoted the development of folk dance and provided people with the opportunity to learn from their culture, history, local customs, rituals, folk dance and improvisation. Uyghur dance represent the Uyghur people perfectly - warm, cheerful and full of Uyghur national characteristics. The female dance is graceful and nimble, while the male dance is vigorous and unrestrained. Also closely related to other dance styles of Central Asia, including Uzbek, Tajik, Iran and with the history of Silk Road we can even see some resemblance between Indian, Arabic and Turkish dance styles in it. Through this workshop students will learn to focus more on arms & hands movements, how to match with the basic steps, and understand different turns. Participating in this workshop will enhance students understanding and appreciation of how dance cultures connect people and cultures stretching from the Middle East to East Asia. LEVEL: Absolutely no experience required. About Kadia

Golden Era of Egyptian dance with Margaret 4.15 – 6.15pm, Sunday 22nd November 2020 Whether you are a Tribal, Fusion or Oriental dancer, your roots lie in the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. In fact this era abounded with the first easily identifiable examples of fusion in our dance's history and it changed the art form's course forever. In this gold mine of a workshop you will dig down into the history behind the fusion, dust off some signature technique and combos that best demonstrate the essence of the Golden Era, and discover the ways in which the era's pared-back 'stillness' can help you unearth your unique, authentic, personal style leading to greater confidence and joy – in any style! Lets get digging! LEVEL: Open level About Margaret Margaret founded Brisbane's 'Soul Dance School of Middle Eastern and Romany Dance' in 2002 and is passionate and thorough researcher and teacher who seeks out the source of the dances she teaches enabling her to deliver correct, definitive instruction and insight. Margaret has been researching the beautiful Golden Era genre for the last 3 1/2 years and in 2019 undertook as study tour in Cairo to take part in Farah Nasri's “Golden Era On Location” to learn with master teachers in music, history, language and dance studies dissecting the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She has created and continues to develop the comprehensive “Going For Gold; The Golden Era Project” - a six week study intensive to bring the gifts of the Golden Era to Australia which she is currently working to deliver online. Margaret has distilled a small portion of the golden magic for her workshop for the Cabaret Lockdown festival.

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